Exactus Puro Ambar Short Coloso
Tabacalera El Artista has expanded their Exactus portfolio since I first reviewed their cigars in May 2013. At the time of the review, the line-up contained the Clasico, Habano, and Maduro (check out the reviews HERE), but has since expanded with the Super Coloso and Puro Ambar. While the Super Coloso is more of a novelty cigar coming in at 11 by 90, the Puro Ambar is produced in more manageable sizes including a Short Robusto (4 3/4 by 54) and Short Coloso (5 1/2 by 60). Today’s featured cigar is the Exactus Puro Ambar Short Coloso.
Exactus cigars are produced by Tabacalera El Artista in the Dominican Republic. The internals in the Puro Amber appear similar, at least on paper, to the Clasico and Habano lines with the Criollo 98 filler tobacco and the wine-fermented Criollo 98 binder. But we all know that different primings, ratios, etc… can make this a completely different smoke even with similar ingredients.
Samples Provided by Tabacalera El Artista
Vitola: Short Coloso
Size: 5 1/2 by 60
Wrapper: T13 (Exclusive of Tabacalera El Artista grown in Rancho Elba Maria)
Binder: Wine Fermented Criollo 98.
Filler: Criollo 98 & 1900 (Exclusive of Tabacalera El Artista grown in Rancho Elba Maria)
Smoke Time: 1 Hour and 25 Minutes
The T13 proprietary wrapper leaf that adorns the Exactus Puro Ambar is by no means appealing to the eyes. Medium brown in color with a greenish hue, the wrapper leaf is marked with stitch-looking veins, visible seams, and color imperfections.. The aroma off the wrapper is faint, with only a mild pungency and sweet tobacco. The pungency transfers to the foot, along with barnyard rich cedar, sweet raisin and pepper.
They weren’t messing around when they applied the cap. What appears to be a triple cap is the largest cap I have ever come across. No worry of over-cutting. The cap clips clean presenting an easy draw, however, I am extremely concerned that there may be some major issues going forward. A large void in tobacco can be seen in the middle of the cigar. Mainly rich cedar is presented on the cold draw.
Bright, white pepper spice is the initial hit on the palate. Just a quarter inch in, the spice tones down allowing room for other flavors but is still at the medium/full level and a good amount of warmth lingers on the palate. There are some woodsy notes, but not like the rich cedar on the cold draw, but rather a wet forest accompanied by some dark fruit flavors. The burn-line is thick, a little edgy, but overall good.
Smoke production is satisfying and, so far, the void in tobacco at the head of the cigar is not having a noticeable impact on the experience. I am beginning to feel a small nicotine hit in my gut. The strength is a solid medium. The profile is much more balanced in the middle third. The richness has picked up, but the majority of flavors are the same as the first third but more rounded. The most intriguing part of the profile is the dark fruit notes. I am not sure if it is from knowing the binder is wine fermented, but my mind immediately thinks of a dry red wine.
The smoke is a bit dryer in the mouth as I make my way into the final third of the Exactus Puro Ambar. The pepper, woodsy notes and fruit continue on with an added toasty quality and earthyness. The tobacco void may be having an adverse effect on the profile at this point. Flavors are coming through much lighter and almost airy. Other than the airy flavors, the cigar is performing well, with a good draw, decent burn, and firm ash.
First off, I want to say a big “Thank You” to Tabacalera El Artista for providing the samples of the Exactus Puro Ambar. I hate it when this happens, but I actually caught myself enjoying this 60 ring gauge cigar. The flavors delivered in the first and second thirds, but tapered off in the final third, which I will blame on the void in tobaccos near the head. I am pleased to report that the issue did not occur in the other sample. When I think of the lines I have smoked under the Exactus brand, I can honestly say that the Puro Ambar is a step above the other lines. If you live near an Exactus retailer, which you can see here, grab a couple and get back to us on what you think of the cigar.